Compiled by Daragh Ó Conchúir
CORK cemented their place in the Semi-Finals of an incredibly competitive Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship with a 0-16 to 0-9 victory over Galway at St Brendan’s Park.
That puts them top of Group 2 with a 100% record from three games and as Kildare and Meath must play in a fortnight, only one of those teams can join the Leesiders on nine points. In addition, Cork play a Down side that has failed to gain any tangible dividends from their previous outings.
The teams shared four points in the initial eight minutes but Cork gradually imposed themselves on proceedings in Loughrea from that juncture and were 0-8 to 0-3 ahead at half-time. The Rebels continued to exert themselves after the resumption and never looked likely to be reeled in as they cruised to the finishing line.
Leanne Freaney and Catriona Cormican scored three points each for Galway but Cork had a much more rounded unit. Sarah Fahy, Rachel O’Shea and Katelyn Hickey all raised the white flag three times each, while the visitors had two other multiple scorers and eight players in total that got on the scoresheet.
With Meath having a bye this weekend, Kildare took the opportunity to boost their scoring difference and edge marginally ahead of the Royals (+30 compared to +27) thanks to a 7-14 to 0-5 defeat of Down in Clonduff. That means that Meath must win when the sides meet in the final round to make it to the last four.
Melissa Lyons was the scourge of the home defence, the rampaging attacker plundering 5-5 in a ruthless performance. That reduced Susie O'Carroll to an unusual place in the supporting cast for Stephen Dormer's crew although she did still provide 1-5 of the Lilywhites' tally. Louise Keatley also shook the Down net, while team captain, Aoife Trant was completely dominant at centre-back.
Niamh Mallon registered four of the hosts' points but it was a tough day at the office for the Mourne women.
There is still a mathematical possibility that Kilkenny could be overhauled in Group 1 but a series of results would need to go against them, including a heavy defeat for themselves. The table-toppers have 39 points in hand of their next rivals Laois on score difference, and are 61 clear of third-placed Tipperary, who will take on Antrim.
The Noresiders were far too strong for Wexford at Kennedy Park in New Ross and prevailed by 3-11 to 0-5.
They only had four points in hand approaching the interval but a Keeva Fennelly goal was the perfect boost and Kilkenny opened up in the second half, with further majors from Jenny Clifford and Ciara Holden, who finished with a goal and eight points, to complete the procession.
Had Laois beaten Tipperary, the qualifiers would have been decided but it’s all to play for as the Munster side prevailed by 2-14 to 0-14 in Rathdowney.